Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Post compulsory Education and Training (PcET)

Are you interested in teaching or training young people and adults? This teacher training course is for graduates who want to teach a wide range of learners aged 16+ in further education colleges, sixth form colleges, training organisations, prisons, public services or voluntary and adult community organisations.

The (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PcET) level 7 award is a nationally and internationally recognised qualification for teaching and training in the post-16 sector. It provides eligibility for QTLS in England, and registration with EWC in Wales.

Students on the (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Post Compulsory Education and Training (PcET) come from many different backgrounds – you could be a new graduate, a trainer or looking for a career change.

You will be welcomed into a collaborative environment where we work with you to develop the professional values, knowledge and skills you’ll need to work and thrive in a diverse and dynamic PcET sector.

The (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PcET) course comprises 120 credits undertaken at Level 6 (60 credits) and Level 7 (60 credits).

This teacher training course aims to develop professional values and key practical skills for teaching at this level with a strong pedagogical underpinning. The structure of the course corresponds to the learning and teaching cycle and includes identifying needs, planning for learning, managing learning, assessment and evaluation of learning.

Students on the (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PcET) and its sister course, the (PgCE) Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PcET) study alongside each other in fully integrated groups. The same module titles are taught across both programmes but these are assessed at different levels in terms of academic writing and scholarship

Preparing to Teach (Level 6 – 10 credits)
The aim of this module is to introduce students to a range of teaching and learning strategies, and theories that:

  • promote inclusive and experiential learning
  • highlight the importance of detailed session/lesson planning, and
  • promote effective class management in readiness for practical teaching at placements.

This module will develop students’ confidence relevant to practice as teachers in FE and various PcET settings. Learning theories and teaching strategies will underpin all practical work and critical analysis of approaches will be encouraged together with reflective evaluation. Students will focus on developing their own subject pedagogy, incorporating collaborative learning and assessing classroom management strategies.

Learning and Applying Pedagogy (Level 6 – 10 credits)
This module provides participants with the opportunity to research, apply and evaluate different teaching, learning and assessment pedagogical approaches appropriate to their subject specialism. Through the module, students will apply different theoretical principles in their planning, delivery and management of learning events thereby modelling best practice. An embedded model for cross-cutting pedagogic themes is applied to enhance the curriculum and own practice, and ensure equality of opportunity. Students will also engage with new and developing technologies to support teaching and learning.

Planning and Assessing Learning (Level 6 – 20 credits)
This module stresses the centrality of planning and assessment in the learning process. It encourages students to link theory to practice, consider sequential learning including co and pre-requisites plus various learning and assessment principles and strategies relevant to the needs of their learners. The module aims to develop confidence in producing a scheme of work from a syllabus, unit or module etc. and takes into account relevant factors that influence the planning and preparation of learning programmes and events, for individual learners and groups. Students are encouraged to explore creative assessment methods and consider contextual factors within a range of learning contexts across the FE and PcET sectors.

Independent Study (Level 7 – 20 credits)
This module is designed to support students in undertaking an action research project that relates to an area of challenge or concern within their own teaching environment. Students will have support from their tutors and placement mentor to identify their research focus and are encouraged to gather documentary evidence and qualitative data to inform and illustrate their research. At the heart of the action research project is the development of new strategies and approaches, in order to address the stated challenge or concern. The module provides opportunities for collaborative peer learning, sharing work in progress, and presenting findings and ideas for future development to peers

Enhancing learning, teaching and assessment (Level 7 – 20 credits)
This module will introduce students to innovative approaches to enhance teaching, learning and assessment in their own practice with a particular focus on developing confidence and experience in the use of online, digital and mobile technologies. Students will research and engage with a wide range of tools, technologies and media and create learning activities that that are meaningful, inclusive and experiential for the learners in their own subject areas. The module provides learning opportunities that are relevant for teachers in the FE and PcET sectors and will allow students to experience collaborative approaches to the planning, delivery, participation in and critical evaluation of a range of innovative teaching, learning and assessment strategies.

Professional Practice 1 (L6 – 20 credits) and Professional Practice 2 (L7 – 20 credits)
At the core of the course is the concept of the teacher as reflective practitioner. These Professional Practice modules run throughout the entire course and offer participants the opportunity to develop their understanding of the concepts relating to reflective practice and its application to professional development.

The modules allow students to address the practical application of a range of teaching skills including planning, delivering, assessing and evaluating. The work produced for this module constitutes a portfolio of evidence that allows trainees to demonstrate that they have undertaken an appropriate range of activities whilst on placement. The Professional Practice modules also provide opportunities to share good practice in relation to students’ developing roles and responsibilities as professionals working alone and as a member of a team, in the Post-compulsory Education and Training (PcET) sector, for example through seminars and peer presentations of critical incidents.


The full-time teacher training course is delivered over one academic year. Students are required to attend University sessions currently 9.30am-3.30pm every Wednesday and Thursday. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays are designated as study and teaching practice times.

Teaching practice timetables are negotiated with the placement provider and generally start after successful completion of the Preparing to Teach module. Students should expect to be increasingly involved in their teaching placements as the academic year progresses.

Part-time students are required to attend University once a week. In the first year taught sessions are currently held on Wednesdays 9:30am-3:30pm and in the second year on Thursdays 9:30am-3:30pm.

Wednesday modules

  • Preparing to Teach
  • Planning and Assessing Learning
  • Learning and Applying Pedagogy
  • Professional Practice 1

Thursday modules

  • Enhancing Learning, Teaching and Assessment
  • Independent Study (Action Research)
  • Professional Practice 2

A variety of learning and teaching methods will be used. These include experiential learning, reflective learning, skills practice, lectures, group work and group discussions, workshops, case studies, student presentations, technology enhanced learning activities and visiting speakers/expert practitioners

Students are also allocated a tutor for regular tutorial sessions to discuss issues that run across the course.

The main purpose of the (PGCE) Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PcET) programme is to prepare you for employment in the post-compulsory education and training sector.

The employment chances of our graduates are good. For many, their teaching practice placement is an invaluable source of experience, information, and sometimes employment on the successful completion of their PGCE.

On successful achievement of this teacher training course, you will be a fully qualified teacher within the PcET sector and eligible to:

  • register in Wales with the Education Workforce Council (formerly General Teaching Council for Wales, GTCW),
  • apply for QTLS status once you are ‘in-service’, through the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) in England (NB not compulsory in England and not available in Wales).

You may also be able to progress to the MA Education, for which postgraduate students may gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for level 7 credits achieved.

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